Pecos Pitas With Pistachios

Rating: 
Yield: 
4 servings.
Ingredients: 

Chicken Filling
2 cups Shredded cooked or canned chicken
½ cup Natural American pistachios, coarsely chopped
Lime Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
4 Pita bread rounds
1 cup Julienne pared jicama or pared, seeded cucumber
1 Avocado, peeled, seeded and sliced
½ cup Bottled roasted red pepper or pimiento, cut into strips
Vegetarian Filling
1 can Mexicorn, drained
2 medium Zucchini, diced (½ pound)
1-2 teaspoons Canned diced green chilies (or jalapeños, if preferred)
¾ cup Natural American pistachios, coarsely chopped
Cumin Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
4 Pita bread rounds
Iceberg lettuce leaves
1 large Tomato, thinly sliced
1 cup Canned black beans or red kidney beans

Instructions: 

Toss chicken with half the pistachios and enough Lime Vinaigrette to moisten. Warm pita bread in 350° F. oven for about 3 minutes, then halve and fill with chicken mixture. Add jicama, avocado and red pepper. Place on plates; drizzle remaining vinaigrette over filling and sprinkle with remaining pistachios.
Toss corn, zucchini, chilies and ½ cup pistachios together with half the Cumin Vinaigrette. Warm pita breads in 350° F. oven for about 3 minutes, then halve and fill with lettuce, tomato slices and 1/3 cup corn mixture. Add a spoonful of beans to each. Place on plates; drizzle remaining dressing over filling and sprinkle with remaining pistachios.

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fun facts

Pistachios, when eaten with high-carbohydrate foods, may result in lower than expected blood sugar levels, an important factor in reducing risk of diabetes.

According to a Penn State University study, it is suggested that pistachios reduce the body's biological response to stress.

One serving of pistachios has as much potassium (300mg, 8%) as an orange (250mg, 7%).

Pistachios are high in phytosterols which may lower cholesterol levels and decrease the risk of heart disease. In animal studies phytosterols have been shown to potentially have anti-cancer properties.

One serving of pistachios is 49 nuts, more than any other tree nut.

Forty-nine pistachios serve up to 20 percent of your Daily Value of B6, about the same as half an avocado.

You can obtain more dietary fiber from a serving of pistachios (3g) than a 1/2 cup of cooked broccoli, and the same amount of dietary fiber as an orange or an apple — approximately 10 percent of the Daily Value.

Just a single serving of pistachios provides you with the same amount of protein in a one-ounce serving of soybeans and can serve as a protein alternative to meat, poultry or beans according to the USDA Food Guide Pyramid.

Pistachios are a naturally cholesterol-free snack and contain just 1.5 grams of saturated fat.

Celebrate the greatness of nuts! October 22 is National Nut Day and February 26 is National Pistachio Day!